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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just like human beings, elderly animals can develop cataracts. That is what happened to a Sarus crane at Zoo Miami who just underwent successful cataract surgery.

(Zoo Miami/Ron Magill)

The female Sarus crane had surgery at Zoo Miami’s animal hospital to remove cataracts in both eyes on Wednesday.

This particular bird is 47 years old and is one of the oldest Sarus cranes under human care.  She and her mate are the largest residents that roam freely within Zoo Miami’s “Wings of Asia” free flight aviary.

Cataracts in animals can severely reduce visual capabilities and be very detrimental to the animal’s quality of life.

This particular crane was demonstrating difficulty in navigating her way through her habitat and was becoming more reclusive due to her inability to see well.

PHOTOS:  Elderly Crane Undergoes Double Cataract Surgery At Zoo Miami

The surgery, which only took about an hour for both eyes, was successful and the hope is now her sight will be significantly improved and in turn, her quality of life.

One day after the surgery, the crane appears healthy and alert was been successfully reunited with her longtime mate.

Standing nearly 6 feet tall, Sarus cranes are the tallest flying birds in the world.  They are found in open areas, wetlands, and the shores of lakes and ponds in northern India, Malaysia and northern Australia.  They are monogamous and mate for life.  They feed on aquatic plants, grains, insects and small vertebrates and are considered threatened or endangered over most of their habitat.